By J. NOEL ESPINOZA
Special to the NEWS
During an emergency school board meeting via audio-conferencing and a special City Commission meeting on Tuesday, the San Benito Consolidated Independent School District and the City of San Benito decided to postpone their May 2 elections to November 3. The move comes as a measure to avoid the spread of COVID-19 already present in the area, augmenting Cameron County’s own decision to do so as well.
Last week, Governor Greg Abbott issued a proclamation suspending portions of the election calendar, essentially allowing any political subdivision that would otherwise hold elections on May 2, 2020, to move their general election to the next uniform election day, which is November 3, 2020.
“Since that proclamation from our governor, Cameron County Commissioners met, and they have suspended all county elections and the use of county equipment and county personnel,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nate Carman said during the teleconference. “Of course, we contracted with the county as did the city.”
The Mayor and Commissioners for the City of San Benito approved the action unanimously at their special meeting following the suggestion of City Manager Manuel De La Rosa.
Steve Rodriguez, a candidate for City Commission Place 2, said he did not particularly like the idea, but says he sees the need for it.
“Governor Abbot didn’t mandate it, but he did recommend it. Unfortunately, with the pandemic, we have to follow the rules. Everybody’s health is more important than an election,” he said.
With the current pandemic, SBCISD Board of Trustees President Orlando Lopez said moving the elections to November 3 is in the best interest of the community.
“If we move this election to November, (it) allows this whole situation to surpass hopefully by then,” Lopez said.